Tag Archives: Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day

Where to Celebrate MLK Day Around the DC Area (2024)

 

Whether you’re looking for ways to teach kids about Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., want to give back on the Day of Service, or hope to partake in another special activity to observe MLK Day, these ideas will have you covered.

Day of Service
Where: Various locations around the DMV
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Just your time

If you want to volunteer on the MLK, Jr. Day of Service, there are many ways and places you can do so around the area. Start here to find opportunities that suit your family.  A good option for the whole gang is an outdoor volunteer clean-up at a local park, and there are a lot of them happening throughout the weekend. Check here, herehere, and here.

More Family Volunteer Ops
Where: Various locations around the DMV
When: Ongoing
Admission: Just your time

For more places to volunteer as a family that aren’t included in the official MLK Day of Service database, this KFDC post has suggestions — whether on the actual day or at a later time inspired by the holiday. All of the organizations listed welcome kids to help out, though some have age requirements, so be sure to note them.

MLK Peace Walk, Parade  & Fair
Where: MLK Jr. Avenue | SE, DC
When: January 15
Admission: Free

Commemorate the life of MLK, Jr. with a Peace Walk and Parade along Martin Luther King, Jr. Ave.  A Peace Rally begins at 9am, then the Peace Walk steps off at 10:45am from Shepherd Park and the Parade will commence at 11am at St. Elizabeth’s East with a Health and Community Fair in the parking lot at 2006 Martin Luther King Jr Ave SE. All ages are welcome to join.

The People’s Holiday: The Many Dreams of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
Where: NMAAHC | National Mall, DC
When: January 15, 11am – 4pm
Admission: Free, but be sure to RSVP

A visit to the National Museum of African American History & Culture is insightful and enriching anytime, but perhaps a bit more poignant on MLK Weekend. And there will be special activities on Monday to celebrate MLK: the Student artists from the Cinematic Arts & Media Production Department at Duke Ellington School of the Arts will perform original work that reimagines and reinterprets the life and work of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. There will also be hands-on activities and pecan pie (MLK’s favorite) available at the Sweet Home Cafe. Of course, plan to tour the exhibits, too, but be sure to read the KFDC Guide to visiting the museum with kids before you go.

Shaping the Dream: a Community Clay Event
Where: Annmarie Sculpture Garden | Lusby, MD
When: January 13-15, 11am – 4pm
Admission: Free, but RSVP required

Join Annmarie Sculpture Garden for an uplifting community art event and exhibit inspired by the life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.  Each year on this weekend, Annmarie Sculpture Garden invites guests of all ages to help create a community art installation in honor of a dream. This weekend, join visiting artist Claudette Taylor lto earn how to make a bas relief tile in air-dry clay and sculpt their your own unique and uplifting motif to display on the wall.  Be sure to RSVP!  Read more about the wonderful Annmarie Sculpture Garden here.

MLK at the Library
Where: Libraries around the DC area
When: Through January 15
Admission: Free

Many public libraries are hosting MLK-inspired events and activities for both kids and adults.  There are crafts, story times, open mic poetry, take home reading challenges, and more.  The above link take you to DC Public Library website where you can find details.  And for quick links to see what’s happening at public libraries outside of the district, see this very early KFDC post (scroll all the way down for links).

It Starts with Me!
Where: MLK Jr. Memorial Library | Penn Quarter, DC
When: January 15, 1-5pm
Admission: Free
If there’s a library event to single out, it’s one that takes place at the MLK Jr. Memorial Library. In honor of the day, join DC Public Library for a day of celebration and reflection. Musical performers, spoken word artists, and more activities will take place to celebrate the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Read more about the MLK Jr. Memorial Library here.

MLK Dare to Dream Day
Where: American Visionary Art Museum | Baltimore, MD
When: January 15, 10am – 5pm
Admission: Free
Celebrate the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. at one of the neatest art museums around. Along with the exhibits, enjoy open mic, art-making, music, dance, and more. And for this special day of remembrance, the museum will be open on a Monday, and all festivities (including museum admission) will be FREE!  Be sure to RSVP!

Not Just Another Day Off
Where: Folger Shakespeare Library | Capitol Hill, DC
When: January 15, 11am – 1pm
Admission: Free

Celebrate Dr. Martin Luther King Jr’s birthday with this annual free and family-friendly event that’s back in the Folger after being closed for a few yeas’ removation. The day will feature music, contemporary poet Alexa Patrick, and actors Sara Barker, Fatima Quander, Greg Reid, and others reading historic speeches from Dr. King as well as their own poems.

MLK Service and Learning Day
Where: Frying Pan Farm Park | Herndon, VA
When: January 15
Admission: $8

Introduce your young ones to Martin Luther King, Jr. Day as we gather at the Frying Pan Farm Park Visitor Center to learn about Martin Luther King and the importance of giving back to our community. Rotate through stations to hear about the Civil Rights Movement, participate in a service project, and reflect on the power of community cooperation. All participants must be registered.

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day Tribute
Where: City Hall | College Park, MD
When: January 15, 9am, 10am, 1pm, & 2pm
Admission: Free

Join the City of College Park at a performances of two children-focused educational shows! The “Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.” show, offered at 9am ad 10am, will focus on the life and works of the famed civil rights leader, while the “Spirit to Overcome” show, at 1pm and 2pm, highlights the many contributions of African American women. Be sure to reserve a spot!

Visit Memorials
Where: National Mall & Tidal Basin, DC
When: January 15 (and ongoing)
Admission: Free, registration required

Pay tribute to Dr. King at places that honor his legacy. Visit the MLK Memorial, a powerful and poignant site along the Tidal Basin. From there, you can head to the Lincoln Memorial, where Dr. King gave his famous “I Have a Dream” speech and look for his words etched in the stone at the top of the steps.

Free Parking
Where: National Parks
When: January 15
Admission: Free

In honor of MLK Day, it’s the first fee free day of the year for national parks, which means there’s no cost for entry where they usually charge to get in. Take advantage of complimentary admission and the day off from school. Some ideas: Hit the trail at Shenandoah or Great Falls, explore Prince William Forest Park, go to Fort McHenry in Baltimore, or enjoy hiking and history at Harpers Ferry. Find even more national parks around the area and beyond. (PS: You can do your own trash cleanup while you’re there!)

Let Freedom Ring!
Where: Kennedy Center | Foggy Bottom
When: January 15, 6pm
Admission: Free

This annual performance in honor of MLK Day is a DC tradition.  The Kennedy Center and Georgetown University host this musical celebration of Martin Luther King Jr.’s legacy. This year the concert will feature Jordin Sparks, Nolan Williams Jr., and Cécile McLorin Salvant. Free tickets will be given away, up to two per person in line, in the Hall of Nations starting at 4:30pm on a first-come, first-served basis.

Leave a Comment

Filed under 2024, All ages, DC, Weekend, Winter

Ways to Celebrate MLK Day Around the DC Area (2023)

 

Whether you’re looking for ways to teach kids about MLK, want to give back on the Day of Service, or hope to partake in another special activity to observe the holiday, these ideas will have you covered.

Day of Service
Where: Various locations around the DMV
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Just your time

If you want to volunteer on the MLK, Jr. Day of Service, there are many ways and places you can do so around the area. Start here to find opportunities that suit your family.  A good option for the whole gang is anoutdoor volunteer clean-ups at a local park, and there are a lot fo them happening throughout the weekend.

More Family Volunteer Ops
Where: Various locations around the DMV
When: Ongoing
Admission: Just your time

For more places to volunteer as a family that aren’t included in the official MLK Day of Service database, this KFDC post has suggestions — whether on the actual day or at a later time inspired by the holiday. All of the organizations listed welcome kids to help out, though some have age requirements, so be sure to note them.

MLK Peace Walk, Parade  & Fair
Where: MLK Jr. Avenue | SE, DC
When: January 16
Admission: Free

Commemorate the life of MLK, Jr. with a Peace Walk and Parade along Martin Luther King, Jr. Ave. The Peace Walk begins at 10:45am from Sheperd Park and the Parade will commence at 11am at St. Elizabeth’s East with a Health and Community Fair in the parking lot at 2006 Martin Luther King Jr Ave SE. All ages are welcome to join.

MLK at the Library
Where: Libraries around the DMV
When: Through January 16
Admission: Free

Many public libraries are hosting MLK-inspired events and activities for both kids and adults.  There are crafts, story times, open mic poetry, take home reading challenges, and more.  The above link take you to DC Public Library website where you can find details.  And for quick links to see what’s happening at public libraries outside of the district, see this very early KFDC post (scroll all the way down for links).

Not Just Another Day Off
Where: MLK Jr. Memorial Library | Penn Quarter, DC
When: January 16
Admission: Free
If there’s a library event to single out, it’s one that takes place at the MLK Jr. Memorial Library. In honor of the day, join DC Public Library and the Folger Shakespeare Library for readings in honor of Dr. King. The tribute will combine poetry with historical speeches from Dr. King, Gandhi, Frederick Douglass, Malcolm X, James Baldwin, and others. Readers include James Johnson, Fatima Quander, Naomi Ayala, Truth Thomas, and others. (Note: This one likely will appeal more to older tweens and teens.). Read more about the MLK Jr. Memorial Library here.

MLK Dare to Dream
Where: American Visionary Art Museum | Baltimore, MD
When: Monday, 10am – 5pm
Admission: Free
Celebrate the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. at one of the neatest art museums around. For this special day of remembrance, the museum will be open on a Monday, and all festivities (including museum admission) will be FREE! Visit the website to see special activities being offered. Be sure to RSVP!

Artsy MLK Days
Where: Annmarie Sculpture Garden | Lusby, MD
When: January 14-16, 11am – 4pm
Admission: Free, but RSVP required

Celebrate the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King with community art activities. Each year on this weekend, Annmarie Sculpture Garden invites guests of all ages to help create a community art installation in honor of a dream. This weekend, join visiting artist Sharon Robinson, and create a mixed media collage and journal entry to be added to an ever growing artwork in the gallery. Be sure to RSVP!  Read more about the wonderful Annmarie Sculpture Garden here.

Visit Memorials
Where: National Mall & Tidal Basin, DC
When: January 17 (and ongoing)
Admission: Free

Pay tribute to Dr. King at places that honor his legacy. Visit the MLK Memorial, a powerful and poignant site along the Tidal Basin. From there, you can head to the Lincoln Memorial, where Dr. King gave his famous “I Have a Dream” speech and look for his words etched in the stone at the top of the steps.

Free Parking
Where: National Parks
When: January 16
Admission: Free!

In honor of MLK Day, it’s the first fee free day of the year for national parks, which means there’s no cost for entry where they usually charge to get in. Take advantage of complimentary admission and the day off from school. Some ideas: Hit the trail at Shenandoah or Great Falls, explore Prince William Forest Park, go to Fort McHenry in Baltimore, or enjoy hiking and history at Harpers Ferry. Find even more national parks around the area and beyond. (PS: You can do your own trash cleanup while you’re there!)

African American History & Culture
Where: NMAAHC | National Mall, DC
When: Ongoing, 10am – 5:30pm
Admission: Free, but timed entry passes required

A visit to the National Museum of African American History & Culture is insightful and enriching anytime, but perhaps a bit more poignant on MLK Weekend. There currently are plenty of tickets available for Saturday, Sunday, and Monday. It’s a huge museum with a lot of exhibits to navigate, some of them very heavy and somber, so be sure to read the KFDC Guide to visiting the museum with kids before you go.

Let Freedom Ring!
Where: Kennedy Center | Foggy Bottom
When: January 16, 6pm
Admission: Free

This annual performance in honor of MLK Day is back!  The Kennedy Center and Georgetown University host theis musical celebration of Martin Luther King Jr.’s legacy. This year the concert will  Leslie Odom, Jr. along with the Let Freedom Ring Choir led by Music Director Rev. Nolan Williams Jr. Free tickets will be given away up to two per person in line in the Hall of Nations starting at 4:30pm on a first-come, first-served basis.

 

Leave a Comment

Filed under 2023, DC, Holidays, Maryland, Virginia

Ways to Celebrate MLK Day Around the DC Area (2022)

 

Whether you’re looking for ways to teach kids about MLK, want to give back on the Day of Service, or hope to partake in another special activity to observe the holiday, these recommendations will have you covered.

Day of Service
Where: Various locations around the DMV
When: January 17
Admission: Just your time

If you want to volunteer on the MLK, Jr. Day of Service, there are many ways and places you can do so around the area. Start here to find opportunities that suit your family. And during this Covid time, outdoor volunteer clean-ups are a good option — here are some taking place around the area:
Roaches Run River Cleanup | Arlington, VA | January 15, 10am – 12pm
Jones Point Park Cleanup | Alexandria, VA | January 15, 10am – 2pm
Four Mile Run Cleanup | Alexandria, VA | January 15, 10am – 12pm
Turkey Run Cleanup | McLean, VA | January 15, 10am – 12pm
Mount Vernon Trail | Alexandria, VA | January 17, 10am – 12pm
Stream & Park Cleanups | MoCo, MD | January 15-22 (several opportunities)
Clean Waterways Cleanup | Southeast DC | January 17, 10am – 1pm
Rock Creek Park | Northwest DC | January 15-17 (several opportunities)

More Family Volunteer Ops
Where: Various locations around the DMV
When: Ongoing
Admission: Just your time

For more places to volunteer as a family that aren’t included in the official MLK Day of Service database, this KFDC post has suggestions — whether on the actual day or at a later time inspired by the holiday. All of the organizations listed welcome kids to help out, though some have age requirements, so be sure to note them.

African American History & Culture
Where: NMAAHC | National Mall, DC
When: January 17, 10am – 5:30pm
Admission: Free, but timed entry passes required

Tickets to the National Museum of African American History & Culture can be some of toughest to get in DC. But this weekend, the museum, which is usually closed on Mondays, will be open an extra day in honor of MLK Day. Currently, there are lots of tickets available for many time slots, but they’ll likely go quickly. Reserve them here.

FUTURES We Dream Family Day
Where: Smithsonian Arts & Industries Building | National Mall, DC
When: January 16, 10am – 3pm
Admission: Free

The recently opened Arts & Industries Building is hosting an in-person, Covid-safe event to honor MLK.  Celebrate the spirit of his dream with a day full of hope, justice seeking, and collaboration. Learn about the Smithsonian’s 175 years of changemaking and reckoning with its history on the SI Story wall. Join family-friendly guided tours exploring social justice and more equitable futures (10:30am and 2pm). Take inspiration from Dr. King’s speeches and many other future thinkers to craft your inspirational messages for the future you dream in drop-in workshops (11am and 1pm). Pop in for hands-on activities for the youngest future makers throughout the day. Get a glimpse of the museum’s fascinating FUTURES exhibit here.

Peace Walk
Where: Frederick Douglass Memorial Bridge | Southeast DC
When: January 17, 9:30am
Admission: Free

The annual MLK Day Peace Walk is on this year and taking place at the recently opened beautiful Frederick Douglass Memorial Bridge that spans from Anacostia to the Navy Yard. Notable DC peops are always in attendance — who will it be this year? Register to join the event, and note that the annual parade is NOT taking place due to Covid.
 

Artsy MLK Days
Where: Annmarie Sculpture Garden | Lusby, MD
When: January 15-17, 11am – 4pm
Admission: Free, but reservations required

Celebrate the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King with community art activities. Each year on this weekend, Annmarie Sculpture Garden invites guests of all ages to help create a community art installation in honor of a dream. Join visiting artist, Sarah Matthews, for a project is inspired by Dr. King’s quote, “Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.”  Learn how to create your own stamps to design and print uplifting posters to hang in your community. Make two posters, one to leave here and one to hang in your favorite gathering spot. Read more about the wonderful Annmarie Sculpture Garden here.

Free Parking
Where: National Parks
When: January 17
Admission: Free!

In honor of MLK Day, it’s the first fee free day of the year for national parks, which means there’s no cost for entry where they usually charge to get in. Take advantage of complimentary admission and the day off from school. Some ideas: Hit the trail at Shenandoah or Great Falls, explore Prince William Forest Park, go to Fort McHenry in Baltimore, or enjoy hiking and history at Harpers Ferry. Find even more national parks around the area and beyond. (PS: You can do your own trash cleanup while you’re there!)

Visit Memorials
Where: National Mall & Tidal Basin, DC
When: January 17 (and ongoing)
Admission: Free

Pay tribute to Dr. King at places that honor his legacy. Visit the MLK Memorial, a powerful and poignant site along the Tidal Basin. From there, you can head to the Lincoln Memorial, where Dr. King gave his famous “I Have a Dream” speech and look for his words etched in the stone at the top of the steps.

All Ages Virtual Art Class: I Have a Dream
Where: Art Jamz Online
When: January 16
Admission: $12.50

The whole family can join Art Jamz online for this live painting class.  In honor of MLK Day, they are donating 50% of all proceeds directly to Martha’s Table.  During the Live Virtual Paint Session, they encourage the creation of original art under the guidance of a talented local artist. Need art materials? Purchase an ArtJamz® At-Home Paint Kit — they’ll even throw in a novelty artist mustache.

 

 

Leave a Comment

Filed under 2022, All ages, DC, Holidays, Maryland, Special Event, Virginia, Winter

Ways to Celebrate MLK Day 2021

 

Perhaps now more than ever is the time to honor Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and his dream of equality and justice — and continue the work to achieve it. Even during this unique time,  you can do just that, both virtually and in-person.   If you’re looking for ways to teach kids about MLK, want to give back on the Day of Service, or hope to join a special event — online or IRL — to celebrate his legacy, these recommendations will have you covered.

Day of Service
Where: Various locations around the DMV
When: January 18
Admission: Just your time

The Biden-Harris Inauguration Festivities honor MLK by including the annual Day of Service.  If you want to volunteer or be part of it by giving back, there are many ways and some places around the area where you can do, both virtually and in person. Start here to find opportunities that suit your family. (And see a specific one below.)

Weekend of Service
Where: Rock Creek Park | DC & MD
When: Throughout the long weekend
Admission: Just your time!

Through Rock Creek Conservancy’s MLK Weekend of Service, you can register to help with trash clean-up and invasive plant removal throughout Rock Creek Park. There are opportunities for all ages to volunteer on Saturday, Sunday, and Monday.

More Volunteer Ops
Where: Various locations around the DMV
When: Ongoing
Admission: Just your time

For more places to volunteer that aren’t included in the official MLK Day of Service database, this KFDC post has suggestions. All of the organizations listed welcome kids to help out, though some have age requirements, so be sure to note them. (Also note that some of places do not have volunteer ops rights now due to Covid, but it’s worth checking.)

Free Parking
Where: National Parks around the region
When: January 18
Admission: Free!

In honor of MLK Day, it’s the first fee free day of the year for national parks, which means there’s no cost for entry where they usually charge to get in. Take advantage of complimentary admission and the day off from school. Some ideas: Hit the trail at Shenandoah or Great Falls, explore Prince William Forest Park, go to Fort McHenry, or visit Harpers Ferry.

Be the Light — Celebrating the Legacy of MLK Jr.
Where: Port Discovery | Baltimore, MD
When: January 16-17
Admission: $17.95/ages 1+, free for members

Join Port Discovery in celebrating Martin Luther King, Jr.’s legacy during their “Be the Light” event. Experience the strength of celebrating differences and stories in our community, take part in interactive programs and virtual performances designed to educate, inspire and help children understand the positive impact that their dreams and creativity can have on the world around them, inspired by Dr. King’s message.

MLK Virtual Peace Parade
Where: Online
When: January 18, 12pm
Admission: Free

The annual MLK Parade & Peace walk is going virtual this year with a rally, but you can still commemorate the life of MLK, Jr. with a festive experience. Tune into YouTube at noon on Monday, and be sure to follow on on YouTubeFacebookTwitter, and Instagram @mlkholidaydc115 for any update.  The parade will also be viewable on mlkholidaydc.org; and the Washington Informer website.

Artsy MLK Days: A Virtual Community Event
Where: Annmarie Sculpture Garden | Online
When: January 16-18, 11am – 12pm
Admission: Free

Though the pandemic has forced Annmarie to change the format of this annual event, they’ve reinvented all the elements to create a virtual at-home experience to keep everyone safe, connected, and ready to honor the dream with creative activities! Dr. King left us with a wealth of wisdom on how to create a more just, humane, and peaceful world — and they celebrate his legacy with art-inspired experiences centered around his nonviolent philosophy. Visit the website to see how you can tour an art exhibit  and make inspired artwork with their visiting artist from the comfort of home. Read more about the wonderful Annmarie Sculpture Garden in this KFDC post.

MLK Virtual Dare to Dream Day
Where: American Visionary Art Museum | Online
When: January 20, 11am
Admission: Free

Join in a free celebration honoring one of history’s greatest visionaries. Now accepting submissions for the Open Mic and Poetry Slam. Enjoy an artist talk with Kyle Yearwood, poetry slam and open mic, and a musical performance by Landis Expandis — all from the comfort of home. Read more about the fantastic AVAM here.

The People’s Holiday
Where: NMAAHC | Online
When: January 18, 4-5:30pm
Admission: Free

Tune into the National Museum of African American History & Culture its annual community program that honors Dr. Kings’ commitment to racial equality, justice, and service. Enjoy a digital performance by six-time Grammy award-winning bassist, composer, and educator Christian McBride inspired by his social justice-focused album entitled, The Movement Revisited: A Musical Portrait of Four Icons. The 45-minute concert of jazz and poetry will also feature performances of students from The Julliard School and a poetry reading by award winning poet, Evie Shockley. The program will conclude with a conversation between Christian McBride and Dr. Dwandalyn Reece, Associate Director for Curatorial Affairs | Curator of Music and Performing Arts.

 

Leave a Comment

Filed under 2021, All ages, Annual, Art, Black Lives Matter, Coronavirus, COVID-19, DC, Educational, Free, Holidays, Maryland, Seasonal, Social Distancing, Special Event, Virginia, Weekend, Winter

Where to Celebrate MLK Day Around the DC Area

Visiting the memorials is one way to celebrate MLK


Whether you’re looking for ways to teach kids about MLK, want to give back on the Day of Service, enjoy live entertainment that pays tribute to his legacy, or hope to join a special event to observe the occasion, these recommendations will have you covered.

Day of Service
Where: Various locations around the DMV
When: January 20
Admission: Just your time

If you want to volunteer on the MLK, Jr. Day of Service, there are many ways and places you can do so around the area. Start here to find opportunities that suit your family.

More Family Volunteer Ops
Where: Various locations around the DMV
When: Ongoing
Admission: Just your time

For more places to volunteer as a family that aren’t included in the official MLK Day of Service database, this KFDC post has suggestions. All of the organizations listed welcome kids to help out, though some have age requirements, so be sure to note them.

MLK Jr. Family Program
Where: Anacostia Community Museum | Anacostia, DC
When: January 18
Admission: Free

Celebrate the Birthday of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. with the whole family at the Anacostia Community Museum! Inspired by Stevie Wonder’s Happy Birthday song, guests can create art using King’s familiar theme of the “Beloved Community” in a workshop led by art educator, Alma Robinson. Participants can also take part in a second workshop with art educator, Rain Young to create original balloon art of a peace medal or a “I Have a Dream” hat to take home. Both workshops include a guided tour of the exhibition “A Right to the City” with an emphasis on Dr. King’s visit to DC’s Shaw neighborhood. All materials will be provided. Register in advance!

The Kevin Durant MLK Classic
Where: The St. James | Springfield, VA
When: January 18, 11am – 6pm & January 20, 10am – 6:45pm
Admission: $20 per day

The Kevin Durant MLK Classic is an elite high school basketball showcase celebrating the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Top high school players will include freshman Elijah Fisher from Crestwood Prep, JT Thor from Norcross High School, and Mady Sissoko from Wasatch Academy. Local DMV highlight players include Cory Barnes Jr. and Tegra Izay from Archbishop Carroll High School, Erik Reynolds and Rodney Rice Jr. from Bullis School and more. All games will be played at The St. James in Springfield, VA — the state-of-the-art 450,000 square foot complex is home to more than 30 sports, including Team Durant at The St. James, Kevin Durant’s youth basketball organization. Read about what else is at The St. James in this KFDC post.

Portrait Story Days
Where: National Portrait Gallery | Penn Quarter, DC
When: January 18-19, 1-4pm
Admission: Free

Drop in to the National Portrait Gallery to listen to a story about Martin Luther King, Jr. and complete a hands-on art project. Read (and see) more about the program and museum here and here. And note this takes place both Saturday and Sunday afternoons.

MLK at the Library
Where: Libraries around the DMV
When: Through January 20
Admission: Free

Many public libraries are hosting MLK-inspired events and activities geared especially toward children. Learn to recite the famous “I Have a Dream” speech at Bellevue Library, join a “Social Justice” Family Story Time at Woodridge Library, celebrate MLK’s Legacy with Author Amy Nathan at Mount Pleasant Library. There are just a few activities in DC. For quick links to see what’s happening at other libraries around the area, see this KFDC post (scroll all the way down for library links).

Be the Light — Celebrating the Legacy of MLK Jr.
Where: Port Discovery | Baltimore, MD
When: January 18-20
Admission: $17.95/ages 1+, free for members

If you can dream it you can change it! Join Port Discovery in celebrating Martin Luther King, Jr.’s legacy during this “Be the Light” event. Experience the strength of celebrating differences in our community and learn how you, too, can become a Change Maker. Take part in interactive programs and performances designed to educate, inspire, and help children understand the positive impact that their actions can have, inspired by Dr. King’s message of promoting fairness. Activities are planned daily throughout the entire weekend — check the website for a daily schedule.

Artsy MLK Days
Where: Annmarie Sculpture Garden | Dowell, MD
When: January 18-20, 11am – 4pm
Admission: Free

Celebrate the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King with community art activities. Each year on this weekend, Annmarie Sculpture Garden invites guests of all ages to help create a community art installation in honor of a dream. Baltimore artist Gary Webb leads the 20120 MLK Days project titled, “Faces of a Dream.” Guests of all ages can create a wire mask using using his “webbing technique” of twisting and bending different kinds of wire into a self-portrait mask, which will be added to an ever growing wall of faces, celebrating the diversity and beauty of the community. Read more about the wonderful Annmarie Sculpture Garden here.

KanKouran West African Dance Company
Where: Dance Place | Brookland, DC
When: January 18, 8pm & January 19, 4pm
Admission: $15-30 (1 child free with adult paid ticket*)

KanKouran West African Dance Company returns to Dance Place for their annual celebration of Martin Luther King, Jr. Introducing the essence of traditional African dancing and drumming to audiences, KanKouran enriches American cultural heritage through the integration of authentic West African arts and promotes intercultural understanding. The annual MLK Day concert celebrates over 35 years of fulfilling their mission of “giving back that which was lost.” The Sunday 4pm performance is part of the Family Series – Get 1 free ticket for a child 12 & under with paying adult.

Paint for Peace
Where: Art Jamz | Dupont Circle, DC
When: January 18 & 19
Admission: $12-20

Bring the whole family Art Jamz for their Painting for Peace Weekend. In honor of MLK Day, they are donating $5 per canvas order to DC Central Kitchen, a local organization that helps combat hunger and poverty. During the event, they encourage the creation of original art under the guidance of local artists and with inspiration from their jamming social art studio and lounge. There will be plenty of images and quotes inspired by Martin Luther King Jr. plus stencils to help you create a unique masterpiece! Book your session in advance here.

Free Parking
Where: National Parks
When: Jauray 20
Admission: Free!

In honor of MLK Day, it’s the first fee free day of the year for national parks, which means there’s no cost for entry where they usually charge to get in. Take advantage of complimentary admission and the day off from school. Some ideas: Hit the trail at Shenandoah or Great Falls, explore Prince William Forest Park, go to Fort McHenry, or visit Harpers Ferry.

Visit Memorials
Where: National Mall & Tidal Basin, DC
When: January 20 (and ongoing)
Admission: Free

Pay tribute to Dr. King at places that honor his legacy. Visit the MLK Memorial, a powerful and poignant site along the Tidal Basin. From 9-10am, there will be a special ceremony honoring Dr. King with speakers, the placing of a wreath on the memorial, and a song. Later, you can take a tour with a Park Ranger — they will be offered at 2pm & 6pm. From there, you can head to the Lincoln Memorial, where Dr. King gave his famous “I Have a Dream” speech and see if you can find his words etched in the stone there at the top of the steps. And for a longer guided walking tour that includes those locations, check out DC by Foot, which offers name-your-own-price tour options.

MLK Dare to Dream Day
Where: American Visionary Art Museum | Baltimore, MD
When: January 20, 10am -6pm
Admission: Free

The American Visionary Art Museum will pay lively tribute to one of the world’s greatest visionaries, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. with its annual, all-ages-welcome event. The intergenerational community party honors the great Dr. King’s legacy and vision with birthday cake, a Power Patch printmaking workshop, an artist talk by exhibiting artist Kyle Yearwood, a poetry slam and open mic, and more — all of it free for everyone! Read more about the wonderful AVAM here.

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Birthday Tribute & Celebration
Where: Strathmore | Bethesda, MD
When: January 20, 4pm
Admission: Free, but tickets are required

Montgomery County celebrates Dr. Martin Luther King’s life through dramatic readings, and musical and dance performances with the theme, “Children of the Dream.” In addition, there will be the presentation of the Humanitarian Award, Children of the Dream Awards as well as a visual arts display honoring Dr. King. Free tickets are required for this event and will be distributed on-site on the day of the performance starting at 3pm.

MLK Parade, Peace Walk, & Fair
Where: Throughout SE, DC
When: January 20
Admission: Free

Commemorate the life of MLK, Jr. on a peace walk and parade along Martin Luther King, Jr. Ave. The Peace Walk begins at 11am and the Parade will commence at 11:30am from Good Hope Road near the Anacostia Park entrance and continue up MLK Avenue, concluding at the campus of St. Elizabeth’s East with a Health and Community Fair at the Gateway Pavillon located at 2700 Martin Luther King Jr Ave SE. All ages are welcome to join.

Rockville Celebrates MLK
Where: Montgomery High School | Rockville, MD
When: January 20, 11am – 1pm
Admission: Free

Rockville’s 48th annual Martin Luther King Jr. Day celebration will include multicultural performances, awards, and a keynote speech a keynote speech focused on the theme “Light in the Midst of Darkness.” The celebration is free and open to all ages. Free refreshments, information booths, and community service projects will also be part of the festivities.

Let Freedom Ring!
Where: Kennedy Center | Foggy Bottom
When: January 20, 6pm
Admission: Free

At this annual performance in honor of MLK Day, the Kennedy Center and Georgetown University host a musical celebration of Martin Luther King Jr.’s legacy. This year, the musical tribute features ten-time Grammy Award winner Chaka Khan with the Let Freedom Ring Choir led by Music Director Rev. Nolan Williams Jr. Georgetown University will also present the 18th Annual John Thompson Jr. Legacy of a Dream Award to Sandra Jackson, executive director of House of Ruth. Free tickets will be given away, up to two per person in line in the Hall of Nations starting at 4:30pm on a first-come, first-served basis.


Leave a Comment

Filed under 2020, All ages, Annual, Art, DC, Educational, Exhibit, Free, Holidays, Live Entertainment, Maryland, Monuments & Memorials, Museums, Music, Outdoor, Parade, Special Event, Theatre, Virginia, Weekend, Winter